If you’d like to be angry, depressed, and full of righteous hatred, I have the perfect news story for you. It involves a 5-year-old little girl named Lamaa who was tortured with whips, electrical shocks, and a hot iron by her father. She died in the hospital after incurring broken bones, bruises, and a skull fracture. And as of it right now, it doesn’t look like the man who committed these crimes will get into any trouble for it. His name isn’t even being released.
Lamaa’s father is apparently a “prominent” religious scholar in Saudi Arabia. He even preaches on numerous satellite television stations. Both his ex-wife and the hospital who treated Lamaa refused to release his name to the press. It’s difficult for an American blogger to find out about legal proceedings in Saudi Arabia, given the small amount of Middle Eastern news that’s reported in English, but I’ve yet to track down any additional information suggesting that Lamaa’s father was somehow being held accountable for his poor daughter’s murder.
Lamaa’s mother spoke to Al Arabiya and acknowledged that her ex-husband tortured her daughter. She said that after her divorce, she had made an agreement with Lamaa’s father to share custody. Per their agreement, Lamaa visited her father for two weeks. When she never returned to her mother, the woman became nervous. She was called by the police to let her know that her daughter was at the hospital.
These types of stories are just so infuriating, especially for those of us who feel powerless to help girls like Lamaa. We are not familiar enough with the legal and social customs to make knowledgeable statements about what can be done.We’re aware that really horrible things happen to children in other parts of the world, but we feel unable to get involved or protect those kids. After all, really horrible things happen to children in the United States as well. We normally assume that those responsible will be punished, but even that isn’t guaranteed.
All we know is that these stories are terrifying. And it’s sickening to think of anyone who could inflict that type of torture on a child. It’s even worse to think of that person getting away with it, out living his life after murdering his daughter. We want justice for this young girl. We want to protect other children from monsters like this so-called religious scholar. Of course, the hypocrisy of a religious man committing such crimes just makes everything worse.
These stories, they need to be talked about. We need to bring them to light and call on someone, anyone, to do something. But it is also easy to feel defeated and detached. It’s easy to throw up our hands and ask what on earth we can do.
Well, we talk about Lamaa. We can express our outrage. And we can donate to groups that help empower and educate girls in Asia and the Middle East. You can find plenty of worthy causes on GlobalGiving. And we can pray. We can pray for justice for Lamaa and every other little girl like her.